We’re reading through Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands and we’re working on chapters 4-6 this week.
Last week, my friend Lisa brought me eggs, and I found myself recalling this farm-y saying over and over again: “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”
And as I read Instruments, I kept thinking of that “one basket” and realized that when we love or serve anything other than God, we’re putting all our eggs into one basket, and it’s the wrong one at that! I envision Ma Ingalls gathering her eggs and putting them carefully into a basket to sell in town. Now imagine that her basket has no bottom to it and consequently, can never be filled. Yet, she keeps dropping the eggs in over and over again as though eventually with enough energy, persistence, or creativity, the basket will somehow fill.
We do the same thing when we place our hope for happiness in things that weren’t meant to and can never deliver hope.
I’d just be happy if…
If only I had this…
Things will be better when…
That one thing. That one thing that can never deliver.
It might be a good thing that your heart dwells on for just a little too long.
It no longer becomes a “nice to have” but morphs into an “I must have” or else. Your fist tightens and your heart clings a little too tightly. An expectation, a demand, my ideal version of my life.
You hand craft this little idol in your heart and you now set out to worship it. You come to believe that you can’t live without it or you’ll never he happy. You make “provisions for the flesh” to accommodate it. You spend time and money on it. You get mad when someone else has it. You wake up thinking about it and go to bed dreaming about it.
“What our heart clings to and confides in is what we truly worship.”
We all worship. The question is who or what are we worshiping.
I think we often use God and others to get what we want. Let that sink in. Instead of loving God and others first and best, we use them to accomodate our own ends. We wouldn’t actually say that, so we re-name the terms to make it more palatable, but the end result is the same. We use God and people in our idol-serving, mini-kingdom-building endeavors.
We want to reign supreme, so we live life independently of God. We resist the authority in our life. We war with anyone who doesn’t see life on our terms. Life as an idolater is unhappy and hard, and when we are conflict we tend to blame others when our problems are really the fruit of our own idolatry. We’ve sown a harvest and now we are reaping it.
“All human desire must be held in submission to a greater purpose, the desires of God for His kingdom.” Instruments, pg. 85
God has a plan for our lives. He is going to use us for His kingdom purposes. I think the biggest lesson to learn from these chapters is that God will not use someone who is sinning to get what he/she wants. In fact, God will continue to make your life hard and resist you.
“The goal of God’s grace is his own glory, as he calls out and purifies a people that belongs to him alone. When he owns their hearts unchallenged, these people will be eager to do what is good in His eyes…His jealousy for our hearts is not a threat, but our ONE TRUE HOPE. Our God is eternally unwilling to share our hearts.” pg 85
I hope as you read, that you are encouraged to change as the Holy Spirit leads you and to do what is right regardless of what others around you are doing. Don’t wait for your husband to change before you change. Don’t wait for that prickly person to straighten up before you do what is right. You are responsible for you and God wants all of your heart now.
This is a wonderfully challenging and convicting book and one that will be life changing if we are meek enough to receive instruction. Let me know what you’ve learned so far in the comments or in the FB group.